As you may know from previous posts, I had surgery on my elbow last evening. (FYI – I did not have a horse accident!) Everything went medically very well (see previous post). I did have, shall I say, an interesting evening, though.
Approximately an hour before the procedure, the anestho doc did the axillary block – a precedure which completely deadens the brachial nerves. No sense of feeling, no ability to move it for 10 – 15 hours. If you are lucky, it may last a tad longer (the no feeling part includes pain).
As I waited for the surgery to start, that arm, which was laying under the blanket across my stomach, started to itch. I thought. When I went to scratch it, I found that not only was it not across my stomach, it was so numb I couldn’t feel myself touching it and it certainly couldn’t be itching.
Thirty minutes later they wheeled me into the surgery room and put a little table under my arm, and as the nurse grabbed my wrist and extended my entire arm over my head, the last thing I thought before I went to sleep was that someone must have cut it off…
Still fully numb by the time we arrived home, I thought my husband was reaching around my waist from behind everytime I leaned over and my arm-in-sling swung out and around me. Of course, when it banged back against me I should have known otherwise, but it was numb and I was drugged, so I blamed my husband twice.
Getting into bed was quite the trick. So I’d have room to prop my arm on pillows, I decided to sleep in the guest room. Of course, just two weeks ago I decided I needed a room for writing and traded out my comfy double spare bed for an inflatable mattress. Bad timing. Have you ever tried to climb in and out of one of those things when your arm isn’t dangling and you aren’t still drugged from surgery?
Several times during the night I awoke to find my arm missing, my now swollen fingers dangling over the head of my bed where the weight of my cast thing had carried them. I remember at one point thinking that I ought to put a collar and leash on my wrist so I could keep track of it. I did finally get some sleep around 4 a.m., but of course my teenaged daughter got up a 5:30 to take a shower in the bathroom directly above me.
Through it all, my faithful doggie, Laddie, slept on the floor right by me. He must have wondered why his leash was on the bed.